Hello again from the land of whales, Wallys and wetness!
Before I start, let me just wish my hubby, The Prez, a very Happy,
Happy Birthday!!! He actually turned a year younger yesterday as he
thought he was turning 45 and I pointed out to him that he was actually
turning 44. Love you sweety-pie! xoxo
Another long week at McFishing full of the trials and tribulations of
dealing with tourists – thank goodness for martinis and chocolate!
In Ukee, we call the three and a half month, peak tourist season “The
100 Days of Hell” and sometimes the name is dead-on, let me tell you.
Don’t get me wrong, I love travelers, I love meeting people and helping
them in a new destination, however,
the resort I work at caters to the lowest common denominator. Mixed in
with all the regular tourists are a large number of wingnuts – I’m
talking stupid with two “o”‘s.
On top of the drive-ins, McFishing has two daily plane loads of guests
which yours truly meets and greets at the airport. These flight guests
are usually drunk, often missing teeth, and are ready to make the best
of their three days away from the old ‘Ball and Chain’. During
the half hour bus ride back to the resort I give them some information,
fill out registration cards, fend off wandering hands and try not to
get drunk myself off all the fumes. Over the past three months I’ve
noticed a correlation between the amount of alcohol a man consumes and
how charming and handsome he thinks he is. I once had a drooling,
farting, Jabba-the-Hut-type man ask me if I wanted to come to his room
for (wink wink) ‘french lessons’ (insert rude tongue gesture here). He
thought this was hysterical and looked genuinely surprised when I,
politely, declined. So I’ve nicknamed our bus “The Meat Bus” – if you
haven’t already guessed, I’m the meat.
Then there are the nice tourists who ask you the same set of questions,
or make the same joke, over and over and over again. My favorite is
when I’m down at the dock and I ask someone for their fishing licence
(this is so I can write down their name and address to mail their fish
photo to) and at least once a day one will say, “Licence? I didn’t know we needed a licence?” and then laugh heartily with their buddies. This joke was funny for three days. Ninety days later? Not so much.
Of course, there are also things the tourists say not meaning to be
funny but which are a complete hoot to those of us who live here. Some
of my faves:
(The weather in Ucluelet is
incredibly unpredictable. We can get four seasons in one day and we
don’t pay too much attention to weather forecasts – even a day ahead of
Tourist: “Hey, it’s rainy and windy here!”
Tourist: “But…but I checked the weather report on the internet last week and it said it was supposed to be nice!!”
Tourist: “Where’s a nice place to hike around here?”
Me: “Oh, definitely the Wild
Pacific Trail. Start out at Amphpritrite Point so you can see the
lighthouse and the waves crashing on the cliffs!”
Tourist: ” Well we went out there but there were signs all over the place warning about bears, cougars and wolves.”
Me: (shrugging) “And…?”
Tourist: “Bears, cougars and wolves!!!”
Me: “Uh huh. They’re pretty much everywhere here, don’t worry about it. Just make a lot of noise and stick together.”
Tourist: Speechless. Mouth open and horrified expression on face.
Me: “Well, the hike up Peninsula street to the Co-Op grocery store is pretty nice too.”
Ucluelet is a hard name to pronounce but this was the best yet…
Tourist: “So, how do you like living in Uhk-a-lat?
Me: ” Oh I love Uhk-a-lat!”
Last, but certainly not least, are the tourists who
absolutely DO NOT need your advice because they’ve got everything all
figured out, thank you very much. And of all these types the “Tough
Fisherman” is the one I love the most…
I like to ask people if they’ve fished on the west coast before because
it can be quite a shock to a newbie. The Prez and I have spent
hundreds of hours on the water here, we know all about the water
conditions and generally expect to be fishing in at least
a five foot swell but to someone who’s never been out there a five foot
swell can seem really scary. Now, add in the fact that the boats at
McFishing are large, sit high on the water, and only do drift fishing
which means they turn sideways to the waves…think of a large pendulum
rocking from side to side to side. Feeling queasy yet? There is a
reason we call our fishing fleet “The Ukee Pukee’s” and why we
refer to our buffet breakfast as the “rental breakfast”.
So, being the kind soul that I am, I will tell new arrivals, “If
you haven’t already got some seasickness medication, I suggest you get
some now. Take one tonight, one as soon as you wake up, and don’t eat
anything greasy or acidic for breakfast”. Then they reply…
Are you ready for this??
“I don’t need that stuff, I’ll just tough it out.“
If you’ve never been seasick, let me just explain, there is NO
toughing it out. Big, strong, grown men have been reduced to
whimpering, crying babies on the water. Last year a guest (one of those
big tough guys) offered the skipper $1000 plus a reimbursement of all
the other guests trips if he would turn the boat around and go in. My
friend, Crazy Mike, told me that when he was seasick he would have cut
his own head off if he had a knife handy – that’s how unpleasant it is.
“I don’t need that stuff, I’ll just tough it out.”
After all, what could I possibly know being a girl and all? So I just smile and say “OK, no worries”
and on the bus ride back to the airport I make sure I’m eating
something really greasy and saucy when I hover over their curled up,
sweaty, pale green body and say, “So tough guy, how about them French Lessons?” Wink, wink.
Until next week, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!